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Jana Wilson
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Last modified: Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SPEA students in D.C. for budget symposium

Nov. 19, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Four students from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) flew to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday (Nov. 17) for the American Association for Budget & Program Analysis (AABPA) Fall 2008 Symposium.

Master of Public Affairs students Melissa Neuman (2010), Melinda Brooks (2009), Richard Palmer (2010), and Dae Woo Son (2009) each received grant funding to participate in the symposium as student reporters. The students reported on several lecture sessions and partnered with an AABPA professional for an educational lunch interview.

"Much of my coursework has focused on government activities at the state and municipal level, so it was very illuminating to see what exactly budget analysts do at the federal level," Dae Woo Son said after the symposium. "I was very surprised to find this community of budget and policy analysts who consider their jobs something of a calling, something for which they feel great responsibility--if not passion, which before yesterday is a word I would never have associated with budget analysts."

The Journal of Public Budgeting and Finance, edited by School of Public and Environmental Affairs Professor John Mikesell, provides the funding for this program.


The Fall Symposium, which took place on Nov. 18 at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, D.C., provided seminars addressing issues of "navigating transition, leading change." Speakers included Sallyanne Harper, CFO and CAO of the Government Accountability Office, Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition and several other distinguished panelists.

Topics addressed include the country's current economic state and establishing solid leaders within budgeting. There also were sessions on budget systems. The symposium is also participating in a fundraiser for Toys for Tots; each attending member was asked to provide a toy for the organization's upcoming Christmas Toy Drive.

The AABPA has served federal, state and local government members since the mid-1970s, offering resources within the areas of budgeting and finance. For more information about the organization and its Fall Symposium, see